Search suspended for pilot, plane believed to have crashed in Gulf en route to Gonzales

Coast Guard suspends search for pilot believed to have crashed in Gulf

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Authorities suspended a search for the pilot of a small aircraft they believed crashed in the Gulf of Mexico.

The United States Coast Guard and the Mexican Navy searched for Steven Schumacher of Missouri, the pilot of a Piper Aztec twin-engine plane. Officials say there were no passengers on the plane with him.

Steven Schumacher is the pilot of a Piper Aztec plane with tail number N778PA, believed to have crashed in the Gulf of Mexico.
Steven Schumacher is the pilot of a Piper Aztec plane with tail number N778PA, believed to have crashed in the Gulf of Mexico. (Source: FlightAware)

The search began when family members contacted the Coast Guard in New Orleans to report Schumacher had not reached his destination in Gonzales, La. Schumacher left Missouri Wednesday, Oct. 16 and was scheduled to land in Gonzales at 8:30 Wednesday night.

Schumacher’s last known location was 380 nautical miles south of Louisiana and 300 nautical miles east of Corpus Christi, Texas. An online flight tracker’s last contact for the plane indicated it was about 50 feet above the water.

Coast Guard crews searched over 6,265 square-nautical miles for approximately 21 hours but were unable to find the aircraft or pilot.

"After the utmost consideration and review of all factors involved in this search and rescue case, the Coast Guard has made the difficult decision to suspend its active search efforts,” said Cmdr. Drew Casey, search and rescue mission coordinator from the Eighth Coast Guard District. “We extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Steven Schumacher.”

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